Dual-booting all versions of Windows and Linux

   Dual-Boot    |    Win 8    |    Win 7    |    Vista    |    Win XP/2K/NT    |    Win9x/Me    |    How to    |    Legacy 9x Tweaks    |    SiteMap   


Here: Home > Legacy 9x Tweaks > Modem & Net Tweaks >


Disconnections should not be a problem.

If you suffer from regular disconnections then you really do have a problem. Fortunately it is often possible to identify the cause and take remedial action.

Remember to check the integrity of your own connections before delving into a multitude of other possible causes!


Persistent Disconnections

An occasional disconnection should not worry us too much. However persistent disconnections are unacceptable.

These problems can be extremely difficult to diagnose and resolve - unfortunately, every link in the chain is suspect.

The cause may be
software (at either end)
hardware (at either end)
or a telephone line quality/connection problem anywhere en route.

[top of page]


Some Causes of Disconnections

Always try to identify a pattern. First you need to know if they are occurring with all users of your ISP's phone number (or at least with users who have the same modem as yourself). If not, then it can only be at your end, unless it occurs with one particular Site - avoid it!

Phone line (excessive line noise may be responsible for 50%)
Faulty physical connection(s)
Port speed set too high
ISP (misbehaving, and slowing to a crawl)
Electrical interference
Faulty serial cable (external modems)
Incorrect software options
Incorrect driver
Two DUN connections trying to access the same line
Shared resources (memory and IRQ conflicts, mostly in older systems)
Call Waiting
Bug in the modem BIOS     etc

[top of page]


Utility workaround

If you are concerned about disconnections during large downloads, you can use a friendly shareware utility like GetRight or Go!Zilla.

The utility allows for disconnections, even intentional ones, without loss of a partially downloaded file - when next run, it will pick up where the download was discontinued. It can automatically reconnect to complete a download, and disconnect when the download is complete.

Note: Netscape Navigator has a similar inbuilt facility. Internet Explorer does not.

GetRight or

[top of page]


Protecting against Disconnections

If you're experiencing low connection rates or dropped connections, try disconnecting all telephones, answering machines, fax machines and line splitters from your phone jacks. You may have too many devices drawing power from the phone system, or some of the devices may be introducing interference.

You can try the effect of switching off all nearby appliances, including fluorescent lamps. Route the phone cable so as to avoid other electrical wiring and devices. Ensure you do not have any high voltage appliances near the modem.

Try disconnecting any other telephones, answering machines, fax machines and modems on the same phone number to see if performance improves - they may only 'appear' to be disconnected.

If you have annoying random disconnections try entering the initialization string
ATS15=128 &K3 S34=32 S12=0
in the Extra Settings box in Control Panel • Modems • Properties • Connection. While best with US Robotics/3COM modems it should work with many others as well.

[top of page]

Protect (2)

If you get disconnected frequently, and other correction efforts have failed, then you can try a ATS10=50 modem register command setting.
First check in your modem manual for this setting. This information relates to US Robotics modems, though it is likely to be universal. You should check first.
The S10 register command sets the duration (in tenths of a second) that the modem waits after loss of carrier before hanging up. The USR 33.6 has a default of 7. This guard time allows the modem to distinguish between a line hit (or other disturbances that momentarily break the connection) from a true hang up by the remote modem.

Those using call waiting on the modem line (not recommended) will probable need to increase the default.

If disconnections are of recent vintage, then try a temporary reduction of the Serial Com Port speed (see above) to 38,400 (19,200 for a 14,400 modem) - if this resolves the problem have a word with your ISP and ask when he will resolve HIS problem (but first check your home phone line and connections for recent deterioration).

[top of page]


Disable Call Waiting

If incoming phone calls disconnect you from your online sessions, you probably have Call Waiting.

To disable it, select Control Panel • Modems • Dialling Properties. Choose the code that disables Call Waiting on your phone line (check in your modem manual and/or with your phone company).

[top of page]

Please remember that you alone are responsible for the consequences of any changes you make to your computer hardware or software.

Copyright © LarryM 1998-2015